Reason for Living

On the one hand, soap opera characters are pretty much indestructible. Toss them over cliffs, burn them up in fires, poison them, drop them in vats of acid, and it’s all good. They pop up smiling.

But on the other hand, these people are such wilting flowers that if you mess with their love lives they’re ready to lay down and die. They can have fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, children, and friends aplenty, but without that True Love to make it all worthwhile, what’s the point? Which means that anytime someone gets sick or injured on a soap, someone, somewhere is going to be called on to give that person a Will to Live.

A year ago, everyone was telling Steve that he had to give Kayla a reason to live, when they were stuck in the quarantine together. But Kayla had paid her dues: she was on the other side back in 1987, when she had to marry Jack to give him a reason to live.

So the tradition continues. On Friday (11/9), EJ was shot during his wedding to Sami, and based on his “I can’t feel my legs,” we’re looking at a paralyzed EJ. Stefano wasted no time enlisting Sami’s aid:

Stefano: You vowed to be Elvis’s wife—till death do you part. He is not going to die here, on his wedding day. I will not allow it.

Sami: That’s out of your hands.

Stefano: But it’s in yours. My son loves you. You can give him the will to live — for you and for his son. You promise me that you will be that woman — the wife that he deserves… in every way. Keep that promise… and I will keep mine. I will see you at the hospital, Mrs. Dimera.

There are many variations to the Will to Live story, so this one with EJami could go in any of several different directions, among them:

1. EJ recovers, but realizes that Sami only stays with him out of guilt, so he pretends to still be paralyzed in order to keep her.
2. EJ recovers, realizes that Sami only stays with him out of guilt, and exacts revenge.
3. EJ recovers, and Sami realizes through pretending to have feelings for him that she actually does have feelings for him.
4. EJ recovers, Sami dumps him, and it forces him to finally move on.

One thing is certain, however, and that is that EJ will recover. That’s one constant in these stories. No matter how sick the person is or how badly he is injured, no matter how poorly the other person simulates feelings of love and affection for the injured party, giving someone a Will to Live always, always works. No one ever dies on a soap saying, “Sorry, I guess our love just wasn’t strong enough.”

12 thoughts on “Reason for Living

  1. I can’t decide if this is a good plot device or a desperate attempt to make Sami/EJ viable. As for your options, which I agree are the only real ones, I think it’ll either go the way of 1 or 3. And he’ll definitely recover.

  2. “No one ever dies on a soap saying, ‘Sorry, I guess our love just wasn’t strong enough.'”

    I’m not thrilled with EJ being paralyzed – it just seems like such an easy, lazy way to redeem him and to have Sami fall in love with him(if that’s the plan. I’m not convinced yet.) And we sort of went through this already when Stefano was paralyzed and had amnesia.

    I agree with zara that it will probably be either 1 or 3. I think I’d like 2, because it would be all sorts of twisted fun. I wouldn’t mind 4 either (as long as she doesn’t go back to Lucas).

  3. It’s absolutetly a tried and true plot device to have EJ be paralyzed, but I think it was necessary if the show has truly decided to explore an EJ/Sami relationship. Thus far, EJ’s had all the power and has used it in a myriad of ways. For there ever to be a romantic relationship, that powere inequity had to change. With EJ paralyzed, Sami has both the physical and emotional upperhand. Because of her ability to give him the “Will to Live” she literally holds his life in her hands.

    I’m guessing we’ll get option 1 or 3 as well. Either way I think it could be some soapy goodness.

  4. It depends on how far they take the redemption. If EJ winds up really redeeming, it will be #3. But if he still stays evil underneath, it will be #1.

    Orrrrr, it could be a combination of both 1 and 3. She isn’t in love with him yet when he makes his recovery, and so he decides to fake it for awhile, and then she does fall for him. But finds out the deception and it pushes her away (which would be very soapy).

  5. I just want EJ to lose something. Something he can never get back, like Steve and Kayla can never get those 16 years back and Marlena can never get those months with John back (when he was in a coma) which shortened the time they could be together before he died. EJ needs to pay in a big, irrevocable way for the things he did. Until then, I don’t want him to win anything else.

  6. Yes, I definitely thought I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that “request” (i.e., threat) from Stefano. Who’s going to measure whether Sami tried hard enough if EJ doesn’t recover, or doesn’t recover fast enough for Stefano?

    Brilliant last line!

  7. There is definitely soapy goodness potential with this scenario, though I’m inclined to believe that … but I won’t finish that thought, because I hate to be cynical.

    I enjoyed seeing Sami being strong today. I was thinking, boy, it’s so nice to see Sami not being all weepy, at the exact moment when Lucas came up to her and she immediately, yes, started crying. I chuckled and thought of all the “hate weepy Sami with Lucas” TWoP posters.

  8. I agree it will probably be 1 and/or 3. But at this point I would much prefer a strong Sami with EJ than all the teary-eyed Sami scenes with Lucas. I have just had enough of those two.

    Personally, if Sami and EJ must stay together then I would prefer them to raise the twins together. Let the little girl so win over Stefano and EJ’s hearts as they grow that the little boy turns on them. We all know that in a couple of years the twins will be at least 6 or 7. Sorry, ranting here.

    Anyway, nice post MaryPickford!

  9. I agree that the direction will probably be 3 or 1 and 3 with the possibility of Sami discovering his deception and the resulting conflict between them (or what Tripp said).
    It is so true that in the soap world, “the will to live, walk, not give up” will overcome.
    It’s funny…my 16 year old son saw a snippet of the show and said, “oh, will he never walk again on the show”. My 14 year old daughter (and veteran soap watcher) said, “of course he will”. She has learned the soap rule that, “The Will to Live”, always works.

  10. Based on what I saw today, Sami has her work cut out for her! I enjoyed their scenes today, though I wouldn’t want self-pitying EJ to stick around too long.

    Sheila, that’s funny about your daughter!

  11. I enjoy your blog, MP🙂 This has all been so dark and heavy for so long, I was thinking that a little turning of the usual tables would be nice — combine 1 and 3, but EJ doesn’t yet know that Sami’s realized her feelings for him when he recovers (she hasn’t figured out how to tell him yet), so he pretends he hasn’t recovered. Sami sees right through this, and instead of ANOTHER angsty confrontation, etc., she doesn’t let him know she knows, and instead has some fun with it, determined to make him break down and confess. She could airily go off doing fun things, leaving him behind to sulk, prance around in her best silk nighties, etc. Hey — seen the movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels where Steve Martin is pretending to be paralysed and Michael Caine is determined to force him to admit he’s not? A little like that! But a lot sexier!

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